David Archuleta ~ Coming Back Strong
Posted by mckenzieharr on Sunday, August 25, 2013
The following is compiled from comments made on Twitter and FOD August 15, 2013 by @McKenzieHarr and used here with permission from the author. I felt the remarks deserved showcasing, if for no other reason than that they deal with a subject much on the minds of his fans right now. That she does it so effectively is another. ~ Angelica
I know many people think that David could be more successful if his music were more mainstream or more “current.” I totally disagree. The best thing David has going for him right now is that he’s different. The reason he is different is because he can do things with his voice no other young singer can. He has a unique personality that cannot be mimicked like Justin Bieber’s. These things make him unique in an industry which is becoming increasingly homogeneous.
Yes, David’s last Jive CD did not sell as well as his first but we should not assume it’s because the songs were not good. The songs are different but like I said, different is good. Nobody seems to ever point out that WEG, who was managing the superhot Jonas Bros, at the time they managed David failed to get a single prime time talk show appearance for David. Way to use your leverage WEG. Or that the only half decent daytime talk show appearance WEG got was the fading Regis & Kelly and the little watched Wendy Williams. Or that SBL got no noticeable radio push from Jive. Why is David successful in Asia? Because the label actually supports him. So, I’ll say again, David’s music is not to blame. If David tries to mimic he “hottest sound” when he returns rather than remaining true to himself, his career will be doomed.
Some examples of failure despite releasing “current” music? Look at the Jonas Bros. Their first single “Pom Poms” had a very current sound and contained the requisite sexual innuendo to “prove” they had a mature sound. It went nowhere despite a premiere on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show and several prime time TV performances. Why did it fail? Because the song, while current was absolutely generic and sounded horrible when performed live. Thus the Jonas Brothers are reduced to selling concert tickets for $20 on Groupon and performing in half empty venues with no media buzz.
Listen to Jessica Sanchez’s new CD. If you were looking for all the elements of the currently hot sound, you’d find it on Jessica’s CD. If you are looking for currently hot songwriters, they are on Jessica’s CD. How many copies did it sell in its first week? About 14,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me,_You_%26_the_Music This despite NeYo guesting on the CD and a Glee stint. When the CD flopped, Jessica started adopting a sexy look and showing skin, hoping this would garner her some attention like it did for Britney. Despite this, she did not even get a second single. And there are now some pretty embarrassing pictures of Jessica out there now.
There are just so many, many failed pop singers who seek success by trying to mimic what is currently popular – on the flawed assumption that successfully mimicking what is popular will create a “good” song or such a song will itself be popular. Thus my tweet. I’m just so glad David is not like the Cody Simpson, Greyson Chance or many other Justin Bieber clones out there. He’s an original who has the courage to trust himself and his talent. Better yet, he has fans who trust his talent and know that his best chance of success is not by mimicking Justin – Bieber or Timberlake – or Bruno Mars, but in being himself.
My hope is that David will introduce the “David Archuleta” sound when he returns and most importantly he’ll FINALLY secure a management team and label capable and WILLING to promote him for who he is rather than who the market researchers say the public “wants.” If that happens, I’m pretty sure Cody Simpson, Greyson Chance and the Jonas Bros will be trying and failing to be the next David Archuleta.
High video views are a product of popularity but equally important if not more important is strong marketing and promotion. When the Jonas Bros were the Disney favorites, they easily secured millions and millions of views of their videos. Without such support, their most recent video for “First Time” has about 1.6 million views. Again, David has to get the right label and management when he returns. That will be critical. No more WEGs please!!!!
I loved the two Joy Williams co-writes on TOSOD, especially “My Kind of Perfect.” That song was so emotionally raw, honest and open, not to mention beautiful. A perfect song for those in David’s young teen/tween demo. Of course some brilliant market researcher probably told Jive the public would hate it. David has some good songs. He just doesn’t have the team who can help him sell them.
The great thing about MKOP is that if you simply take the lyrics literally, it can be a simple teen love song. However, there is metaphor and imagery in the lyrics that are so deep the song could be studied in a poetry class. That’s another thing I like about David’s songs. They have meaning and in fact multiple meanings if you dig deep enough.
I think David going away could in some way actually help his career. It gives him a great new back story. It creates interest and curiosity in him – witness the buzz from his mission announcement. The two year absence gives him something few artists ever get: a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t forget Alanis disappeared for a few years before making a big comeback with a new sound.
I guess if he had stuck around and worked on his music, his career might be better off but that’s not a certainty. David Cook has been diligently working away at his career since David left. He has gotten nowhere. His latest self released single that was premiered on American Idol flopped hard. As far as I know, there is no formerly successful Idol who has ever made a full comeback after a fall in popularity. So the odds were against David even if he stayed rather than left on a mission.
The mission is a real wildcard that could help David buck the trend. I think it could give David a chance to make a full comeback or go even further. He can’t waste that opportunity. He needs good management and a supportive label.